Posted Thursday, August 18, 2016 1:14 PM | Contributed by Jeff
From the press release:
Nostalgia and a return to traditions are what holiday seasons are known for, and in 2017 Kings Island will deliver those sentiments with the return of a month-long holiday celebration.
After a 12-year absence, the long awaited return of WinterFest will provide Gold season passholders and Tristate residents with four seasons of fun at the 364-acre amusement and water park.
The focal point of WinterFest will be the world’s largest Christmas tree display with the park’s iconic 314-foot tall Eiffel Tower decorated with thousands of lights which will be seen for miles.
Below the Eiffel Tower, International Street will be transformed into a colorful and quaint winter village, featuring the fun of holidays past – outdoor ice skating on the park’s Royal Fountain, Christmas carolers, and homemade crafts.
Tasty foods, colorful gifts, live stage shows, fun rides, and of course, Santa’s workshop will all be part of WinterFest’s warmth and excitement.
Rides will include the Grand Carousel and a journey through the park’s Rivertown area on an authentic steam train.
Operating dates, hours and ticket prices for WinterFest will be announced at a later date. The event will be included free for 2017 Gold and Platinum season passholders.
Also new in 2017, Soak City Water Park will see the addition of a smokehouse style restaurant as well as other new amenities and improvements. Guests will enjoy the smells and tastes of new food items such as smoked pulled pork, smoked or grilled wings, hand-breaded chicken tenders and shrimp. The water park will also offer additional shade structures, changing rooms, cooling mister fans, and expanded deck space doubling the number of chaise lounge chairs.
It is nice to see Cedar Fair come around on the WinterFest concept after cancelling it before the 2006 event was supposed to happen. The 2005 version of WinterFest was a lot of fun.
Doesn't Sound like any Coasters or Flats will run! Why Not. Hershey Park and Six Flags GA had Lots of rides running last Year including Nitro, Superman at GA and Comet, Wildcat at Hershey!
^ Carowinds updated their site to say select rides would be open. We may have to wait and see if Kings Island does the same.
Speaking of past Winterfests, KI never did. The train, (which under Paramount had a laughable musical "show" on board), the carousel, and the dark ride, (not done up for Christmas.)
Personally, as much as I like rides, I never felt in the mood to go swinging or coasting around in that cold air.
Stop being a wimp. Grab a ski mask and gloves and have some fun. :-)
Oh, I did that years ago in Chicago and I'll never forget it. It was October 8, the day after my birthday, and we were all set for a fun day at Six Flags. We woke up that morning to a bad snow storm. We made it to Gurnee and the park was open. They had carts everywhere with hats, gloves, and hot chocolate. Salt was on the midways.
The rides were operating, it got to the high 30's that day, and we froze our asses off. The good news was the park wasn't very busy and the new Batman ride was a walk on. We rode twice in the front and I couldn't feel my face.
The worse part about KI's Winterfest was the parking lot, like frozen tundra with the wind whipping. Once inside the gate it was warmer, but still, pretty darned cold.
It's a fun time though, and I like being at the park any time.
A lot of rides are not required to have a very successful Christmas event. But some are probably needed. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has IMO the top Christmas event, and only their flats, one coaster, the train and skyway are open.
The problem with most Cedar Fair parks is that they don't really have a lot of non-thrill rides, that would be good fits for these events. Many of them lack trains, skyways, car rides etc due to previous mismanagement removal of these types of rides.
The key to these events are spectacular lights and live entertainment. Both Busch Gardens Willamsburg and the Herschend parks are covered in lights everywhere in the parks, and have a large number of live shows.
From the description of Winterfest so far, it sounds like it will have hardly any rides, the main lighting attraction will be the big Christmas tree (which will just be lines of lights strung off of the towers) instead of lights all around the park, and they haven't mentioned much live entertainment (which Kings Island has had some of the best line entertainment of all the parks over the past seasons).
If this event isn't going to piddle again, they need to focus on more lighting, entertainment and a few rides open. When the weather is decent, Busch is always packed.
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